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How does Texas handle property division in unusual circumstances?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Family Law

Many issues come to the forefront in a Texas divorce. They can sow the seeds for dispute, acrimony and lingering ill will. Determining which spouse will get what in terms of property is a common problem. The Lone Star State is like many states across the nation in striving for fairness when the legal system oversees a divorce. To achieve that, it uses an equitable distribution model. People may misinterpret that to think the property is divided evenly, 50-50. That is not accurate. In truth, the goal is fairness and that might not be 50-50. This can be made even more complicated with unusual property circumstances.

Understanding property division in Texas

Texas law details how property is assessed in a divorce based on whether it is separate property or community property. It is relatively simple on its surface. Separate property was property that a person owned or claimed prior to the marriage; was accrued during the marriage as a gift or through inheritance; or was part of recovery for personal injury that happened during the marriage. For the final part, lost earning power is community property. Community property in general is that which was acquired by each party while they were married.

There may, however, be special situations that make the property harder to define. If property was acquired by one spouse when they lived in a state other than Texas and it would have been community property had they lived in Texas; or if property was acquired via trade that would have been community property had they lived in the state at the time, it can be viewed as such and subject to division. The same holds true in the opposite situation. If it would have been separate property had it been in Texas or acquired via trade, then it will be deemed separate property.

Complicated property division warrants legal assistance

Regardless of their age and circumstances, Texas couples who are getting a divorce will have an idea in mind as to how they want the case to turn out. The primary focus will frequently be on child custody, child support and spousal maintenance. Property division can also be a contentious area, especially if there is high-value and disagreements about whether it is community or separate property. This can be further complicated by unusual issues like property in different states, profits from separate property that were accrued because of the efforts of the non-owning spouse, what happens with items in dispute and more.

Having help throughout the process is imperative, but it must be attentive guidance from those who listen and care about what a person is seeking as part of the resolution to the case. Since family law can be so complex and emotionally challenging, having advice that focuses on custom solutions, well-crafted strategies and seeking a positive outcome by being fully prepared is crucial. Assertively pursuing the desired goal is essential and those who are moving forward with a divorce and are thinking about a reasonable resolution to property concerns should know the value of experienced representation.